You learned how to duplicate shapes by dragging them in an earlier tutorial, but while that's a nice way to duplicate two or five shapes, it's not the best way to create ten, twenty, or more copies. We all know that you can press Command + C to copy any shape in PowerPoint to the clipboard, and a resulting Command + V always pastes a copy from the clipboard to the slide. What many people don't realize is PowerPoint has this almost supernatural keyboard shortcut called Command + D (yes, the D stands for duplicate), and this shortcut does more than just let you achieve two shortcuts with one by duplicating; in fact it creates a pattern of evenly-spaced and symmetrical shapes! Follow these steps to explore more in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:
- Select the shape you want to duplicate, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Shape selected
- Press Command + D to create a duplicate of the selected shape. Figure 2 shows the duplicate of the selected shape created and placed overlapping the original shape.
Figure 2: Duplicate of the selected shape created
- At this point of time, avoid using your mouse altogether. Since the duplicate shape will be selected as soon as it was created, any nudges you do to the shape by pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard should work. Nudge multiple times in various directions until you are happy with the spacing between the original shape, and the duplicated one (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Duplicate shape with adjusted spacing
- Now press the Command + D key combination repeatedly to build a pattern. The next duplicate shapes will retain the spacing and direction between the first two shapes, as you can see in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Evenly spaced duplicates are created
- Save your presentation often.
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